A Peaceful, Yoga Road towards Motherhood  (380 )

A Peaceful, Yoga Road towards Motherhood

Practical textbook of pregnancy yoga within 8 chapters.
The Most Beautiful Czech Book of the Year in the area of the pedagogic books (by the Museum of Czech Literature in collaboration with the Ministry of Culture).
Arts Books Wanted 2014 Best Graphic Design 2014 international competition organised by the LIDU Publishing House.

author: Denisa Šedivá
illustrations, graphic design and typesetting: Adam Macháček and Sébastien Bohner, 20YY Designers
photography: Roman Franc
printing: Helbich (Plc)
publisher: 2013, Denisa Šedivá – denisasediva.cz
ISBN 978-80-260-3801-6

Pregnancy yoga textbook, A4 format in a practical transparent plastic cover. Contains an introduction and 8 chapters, fold-out posters, focusing on different parts of the body. Each chapter contains photographs, descriptions of the postures and their effects. You can devote yourself to all the chapters or only selected ones, according to your current needs. The purpose is to provide pleasant and accessible guidance on how yoga can relax and sweeten pregnancy both physically and mentally while at the same time preparing the body and mind for the birth and beyond.

The photographs were taken during the sixth to eighth month of the author’s pregnancy. The book is mainly based on her yoga practice before and during pregnancy, her experiences during childbirth, the classes and courses she has taken in yoga for pregnancy, available literature and professional journals. It is intended for all pregnant women (not only) who have experience with yoga.

Denisa Šediva and I know each other from pregnancy yoga classes and Vedic meditation course. I admire the diligence, perseverance and enthusiasm that Denisa has put into her book on yoga for pregnant women, it is a valuable achievement. I see yoga very much as an oral tradition that is best learned “in person”, from another person who has experience with the practice. However, contact with a teacher is not unlimited, and so I believe the book will be a good reminder to pregnant women when they cannot be in the presence of a teacher in a class or course.

As a pregnant yogi, I was looking for books to practice by. I couldn’t find any suitable ones so I thought why not write one. Graphic designer and illustrator Adam Machacek and I put together a concept that solved what I didn’t like about regular books. Namely, that they were impossible to actually practice on. You have to keep bending down and flipping through them. Not here. Just spread out a poster on the floor with a series of exercises in photographs and a roughly ten-minute lesson targeting a specific body part is ready to go. I also wanted the book to be really beautiful. For pregnant women who should be surrounded by beauty as much as possible.

Denisa Šedivá, author

The word yoga means unity. A pregnant woman is by nature the personification of this state. Her body and the body of the developing fetus are one for nine months. One within the other they breathe, nourish, are active and rest, sleep and move. They are two and yet one….Our modern society is not accustomed to conscious work with the body and mind. We spend most of our time “from the neck up”, we often have little or no awareness of our bodies, and our lives are mostly a merry-go-round of our minds. This disconnects the body from the mind and spirit and creates a gap, a disconnect. Yoga postures are a tool or guide to perceive our body, to be in conscious connection, contact and communication with it. Where there is mutual feeling, understanding and harmony is possible. Thus, through yoga, the pregnant woman has a tool to listen to her ever-changing body, understand its needs and meet them. As yoga practice engages not only the body’s movements, but also the mind, which is invited to feel and sense the body, the connection begins to be restored. All parts of our being are reconnecting. We know what we feel. We know what we need to feel well. Sensitivity training on the yoga mat leads us to trust our bodies and have confidence in their abilities. We have the experience that our body knows what is good for it, that it will always know, and that if we listen, we will hear the message. This skill, which can be learned and continually deepened, is a great gift in pregnancy and childbirth. A pregnant woman gains her own inner strength, confidence in herself and in her ability to bring a healthy and happy baby into the world.
In my experience of working with pregnant women, I know that problems that are considered a normal part of pregnancy, such as back pain, swelling of the hands and feet, heartburn and others, may not occur at all. A healthy woman can go through pregnancy without any difficulties or pains or can greatly reduce or eliminate them altogether through yoga practice or other holistic methods.

In the practice of yoga, through the wise guidance of our body’s intelligence, we seek and find stability and comfort at the same time. The body and mind can experience inner solidity as well as openness and malleability again and again in yoga practice. The practice truly serves as a rehearsal. What takes place on the practice mat then carries over into everyday life. If the yoga practice makes us feel more ourselves and more in touch with the baby in the womb, it is very likely that this experience will last beyond the yoga class and beyond the pregnancy period.

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